“The lyrical text and colorful illustrations of Emily and Carlo will capture the hearts of young picture book readers.”
Emily and Carlo by Marty Rhodes Figley gives additional insight into the life of the famous poet Emily Dickinson. Ms. Dickinson, who was born in 1830, at age 19 received a puppy from her father during the winter of 1849–1850. A long and close relationship ensued.
This book, with soft, watercolor illustrations by Catherine Stock, tells the story of an odd pair—a tiny, reclusive poet and a big friendly Newfoundland dog who were constant companions for 16 years. Together they explore the woods and world near Amherst, Massachusetts.
Carlo, her “shaggy ally,” goes everywhere with Emily. They walk to a pond to look at the frogs, visit friends and take them treats, and visit Emily’s brother’s house right next door, where Emily plays the piano, and Carlo romps with the children. And there are times when Emily simply shares her dreams as well as her poems while Carlo listens. Young readers will enjoy the peaceful mood that the book evokes and may be encouraged to further explore the life of this famous American poet.
In her notes at the back of the book, the author points out that the italicized words in the story are taken directly from Emily Dickinson’s poems and letters. She explains that the main events in the story are true—although she has added some fictional details. The backmatter also gives a bibliography, additional information about Emily Dickinson, and sources for the quotations.
The lyrical text and colorful illustrations of Emily and Carlo will capture the hearts of young picture book readers.